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Contests and Gear Updates

By Gary F. Zeolla

The following messages were posted on the Weightlifting Discussion Board.

Best lifter at last contest?

My last contest was back on April 8, the WNPF Western PA Championships. I competed in the raw division, 123s. There were separate best lifter trophies for the equipped and raw divisions. So I was hoping to win best raw lifter, but I did not. The meet director said it was “close” between me and two other lifters.

The contest report for the meet is in this month’s issue of “Powerlifting USA” (June 2006, p.84). And I now see that a “M. Hart” won best raw lifter. He totaled 1205 at 165s. My total was 975 at a weigh-in weight of 121.

Using the Schwartz formula, my value was 872. And assuming a weigh-in weight of 165, Hart’s was only 802. So it looks like I should have won best lifter, and it was not even “close” in any sense. Now maybe Hart weighed in under the limit. But to beat me, he would have had to weigh only 149. I seriously doubt that.

Interestingly, a “S. Haddaway” totaled 1510 at 242s. And his value is 811 (again, assuming an actual weigh-in weight of 242). So he should have beat Hart as well, but still not close to me.

It’s possible the Wilkes formula was used. I tried finding a copy of it on the Web, but wasn’t able to. Does anyone know where I can get one? But still, I doubt there would be that much of a difference between the two formulas. I mean, if we were close, maybe. But a 70 point difference just makes no sense.

I’ve called the meet director twice to find out how best lifter was calculated, but all I got was his answering service, and he hasn’t called me back. Of course, none of this matters now, but it is irksome. At every contest I’ve entered so far (including this one), I “won” my weight class by virtue of being the only one in my weight class. So it would have been nice to win a trophy by actually beating someone!

Note: Someone responded that with the Wilkes’s formula, the other lifter would have to have weighed 153.75 or less. That’s possible, but unlikely. Also, I emailed the WNPF. About all they said was that there really was nothing that could be done at this point. That's true. But I still would like to have known what happened.

Details on gear issues

Over the past year I’ve been trying a lot of different gear. But what I started with was gear from Crain’s Muscle World. Since Ricky Crain has come out with his new gear with new material, I ordered a CX2-D (double-ply) squat suit and bench shirt back on November 13.

I thought I’d have it by now (mid-December), but due to Thanksgiving and the big snowstorm in the Mid-west, Ricky is behind in filling orders. And with Christmas coming, he cannot even give me an exact date right now as to when I will get the gear, but it sounds like it won’t be until January. If that’s the case, then I don’t think I’d be ready for a meet in March.

I’ve thought of canceling the order and getting something else, but none of the other options seem as good, at least on a cost/ benefits ration. But the problem is, the gear I am getting is so new, there really are no comparisons to it. I think I will actually be the first person getting Ricky’s new gear in double-ply.

Checking back posts in this group, “Bubba” posted a message back in February comparing his best lifts using Crain gear versus Inzer gear. And basically, his squat and DL were much better in the Crain gear than the Inzer hardcore or Max DL. And that was Ricky’s old gear, so I assume the new gear would be even better.

But would it be as good as Inzer’s new T-rex suit? That I don’t know. But I do know the T-rex costs about $100 more. The same goes for Titan’s Boss suit. And Titan takes 6-8 weeks anyways. So I’m guessing I’d just as well wait for the Crain gear (the price of the Crain double ply gear is $175).

Of course, there’s a completely different option, a canvas suit. But I’ve never used canvas, so I have no idea how that would work for me. I see from one of your posts that you mention about having problems with balance in your first workout in a while with it. So I gather there’s a steep learning curve with canvas.

In addition, doing some research, it seems that most couple the canvas suit with poly briefs. And the two together would easily run $300 or more.

As for bench shirts, in Bubba’s post, he indicated he did better in the Inzer Double Phenom than the Crain double-ply. But that was Crain’s old gear. So I don’t know if the new gear would be better or not. But the price is about the same.

The other shirt I was looking at was Titan’s Double Katana. That’s $200, so it’s somewhat more expensive. But again, there’s the 6-8 week wait.

But most of all, I’m concerned about the sizing. I’ve been wearing a Crain shirt, so it should be easier to get the right size than if I switch to Inzer or Titan.

BTW, I tried denim last winter, and I couldn’t; get it to work for me. On the first try, I couldn’t come close to touching with well over what was my best contest bench. Then I had it altered and could touch with my contest best, but it was no better than my currently poly shirt. Then when I tried getting it altered again, the post office lost the gear. So I’m not planning on trying that again.

Bottom line of all of this is I think I’ll wait for the Crain gear. It sounds like the best option for the price. But again, I have no idea when I’ll get it. And all of this worrying and debating over gear is really getting to me.

As I posted previously in this group, I really preferred it when I powerlifted back in college and there was one federation with one set of rules, and “Supersuits” were the only kind of gear available. So everyone just wore the same kind of suit, and that was that. But now, there are so many different rules and different kinds of gear, you can spend all of your time dealing with gear. But that’s not why I decided to start powerlifting again!

Email to the APF

The following is an email I just sent to the APF. I sent a similar email to the meet director and to Powerlifting USA magazine.

Dear APF,

I emailed you a week ago and have not received a reply. So I am emailing you again with the same concern and another related one.

I competed in APF PA State Championships on September 2. I lifted at 114s, in the men’s masters, 45-49 division. My lifts were: 415 – 215 – 400 – 1030. These were more than good enough to break the existing American records. But the records on your site have note been updated to reflect my records. The meet director said he would fill out the appreciate paperwork and submit it to you.

In addition, the meet director said he would send the meet results into Powerlifting USA, but I have yet to see the results in the magazine. I just received my December issue yesterday (12/22), and they were still not printed.

I am concerned as I was planning on my lifts from that contest qualifying me for next year’s Top 20 Masters chart for 114s. The deadline for inclusion is the end of this year. I have been number 1 or 2 in squats, deadlifts and total, and number 2 or 3 in benches for each of the last three years. And I was hoping to keep that streak going. So I am hoping something can be done to get the meet results into the “Powerlifting USA” within the next week.

I also am not sure if I will enter another contest at 114s before the deadline for next year’s Top 100 chart, so I might need my lifts from that contest to qualify for that as well.

Right now, I feel like my efforts at that contest were all for nothing. With the records not being updated on your site and the contest results not being submitted to Powerlifting USA, it’s like the contest never happened. Please look into this as soon as possible.

Thank you,

Gary F. Zeolla

Note: Someone told me the person to contact at the APF was named Amy, and he gave me her phone number. So I gave her a call. She said she'd had tried in November to get a hold of the meet director to find out what happened at the contest, and that she would try again. Also, I got an email back from Mike Lambert. He said he would note my lifts and try to verify them. Verifying them probably will require contacting the APF, so I need them to officially have record of them.


I got my Crain CX2-D Squat Suit and Bench Shirt yesterday (12/29). Unfortunately, both were considerably too large. I contacted Ricky, and he said to send them back, and he’d send smaller sizes. I sent them back today.

If the gear had been the right size, I would have been able to use it for my full gear workouts next week. As it is, I’m just hoping I’ll have the replacements by my full gear workouts the first week of February.

Handling the CX2-D gear, it is obviously heavier and thicker than my current double-ply gear. The thickness and weight reminded me of the double-denim gear I tried last winter. So I am hopeful that once I get the right sizes, it should work much better than my current gear. But I won‘t know for sure until I get the right sizes and try it out.

With the delay, I doubt very much I’ll enter the IPA contest in March that I was thinking of. Very tentatively, I might wait until IPA Worlds, which I assume will again be in July in York, PA. But I won’t know for sure until I get the new gear and try it out and the IPA posts official details about Worlds on their Web site.

As for my goals for 2007, I have some ideas on what I am hoping to achieve, but I won’t know if they’re reasonable goals or not until I get my new gear and see how well it works.

But I do know I was very disappointed with my contests this year. As I’ve posted before, competing raw at 123s back in April was really a waste. And I’m still a bit disgruntled over my feeling that I got gypped of winning best raw lifter.

As for my last contest, I called Amy at the APF. As I feared, the meet director never submitted the results to the APF, nor to Powerlifting USA. Amy emailed and called the meet director, but she has yet to hear back from him. As of now, my lifts, APF records, and winning best lifter were never officially recorded and thus seemingly never happened.

Needless to say, I’m rather miffed over this situation. I doubt I will ever enter any “small” contests again after all these problems. That’s why I’m thinking of entering IPA Worlds where I’m sure I won’t have such problems.

APF Contest Update

I posted before about the APF contest I entered in September. The meet director never submitted the results to the APF or to “Powerlifting USA.” After several weeks of both me and Amy at the APF trying to get a hold of him, Amy was finally able to, and he sent her the meet results.

However, I purchased an APF card at the meet, but the meet director never sent that info to the APF either. So I scanned a copy of my receipt and sent that to Amy.

After all of that, Amy finally had the info she needed, and she updated the APF records on their Web site to reflect my lifts at the contest. She also said she would send the results into “Powerlifting USA.”

I previously had sent my lifts to Mike Lambert for them to be included on this years “Top 20 Masters” lift. But he said he needed “verification” of the lifts to include them. Even though it is a little past the deadline, hopefully, my telling him before and his getting the meet results now will be enough for my lifts to included on this year’s list.

So hopefully, this whole mess has been cleared up.

Contests and gear updates. Copyright 2006, 2007 by Gary F. Zeolla.

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